Adoption Attorneys in Texas
Professional support while you grow your family
Adoption is the social, emotional and legal process in which children who will not be raised by one or both of their biological parents become full and permanent legal members of another family.
The decision to adopt a child can be emotional and overwhelming but also so rewarding. Our experienced team of professionals helps families navigate the uncertainties legally and personally to make the process as smooth as possible.
We understand that every adoption is unique, just like each child. Our lawyers are experienced and knowledgeable in identifying plans that fit your specific situation. ONDA is your family’s advocate with a dedicated team of professionals who offer support while you grow your family.
How adoption works in Texas
For families hoping to adopt a child in Texas, the process can be overwhelming. When deciding to adopt, it is important that couples are completely committed to adoption before beginning the process.
Every single adoption is different in its own way, but there are a few steps that remain constant, no matter the circumstances.
An adoption evaluation will be required, as well as background checks for the individual seeking to adopt the child, among other required actions dependent on the type of adoption. Once the adoption evaluation is completed, a report is filed with the court and finalization of the process can begin
Teaming up with a specialist who knows the ins and outs of the Texas Family Code is critical. The laws and statutes can vary state by state, so you want a law firm that is experienced with Texas’ specific adoption processes.
Who can be Adopted in Texas
- A child residing in the state of Texas can be adopted including but not limited to the below:
- One parent’s rights have been terminated
- One parent whose rights have not been terminated is married to the Petitioner seeking to adopt the child (stepparent)
- Child is at least two years old, and the person seeking to adopt the child has had actual care, possession, and control of the child for a period of six months preceding the adoption, and the none terminated parent consents to the adoption.
Types of Adoption
After making the decision to adopt, the next step is to decide what type of adoption you are interested in pursuing. This decision is based on several factors, including your level of comfort with each situation. The following are the different types of adoption:
- Private Adoptions – Private, or independent, adoption is a process in which the biological parents of a child personally select the adoptive parents and place the child directly with them. Custody is transferred directly between the parents, rather than through an agency. Private adoption is not legal in some states.
- Open Adoptions – Open adoption is a process in which the biological parents participate in the placement of the child with an adoptive family and may continue to have contact thereafter.
- Relative Adoptions – A relative adoption, or a kinship adoption, occurs when an eligible family member is adopted by an adult family member, such as a grandparent, aunt/uncle or sibling.
- Stepparent Adoptions – Stepparent adoption is a situation in which a person becomes a legal parent/guardian for his or her spouse’s child. This is the most common form of adoption seen at our law firm.
- Foster Child Adoptions – This is the adoption of a child in foster care whose biological parents’ rights have been terminated by a court. The child may be adopted by his or her foster parents or another adoptive family. Families that want to pursue a straight adoption from foster care aren’t necessarily foster parents first.
- International Adoptions – The process in which a child is adopted from another country through permanent legal means and brought home from overseas.
Effects of Adoption
There are several emotional and legal effects of adoption on the adoptive family, the child(ren), nonimmediate adoptive family members and even the biological family members of the adopted child.
When a child is adopted by a family, that child becomes an heir to that family as if he or she were born into the family biologically. Parents have the same rights and duties to the adoptive child as they do to any biological children they may have.
A common misconception is that the biological grandparents of the adopted child lose all rights; however, in some limited instances, the biological grandparents may actually maintain certain rights to the child. The adoptive grandparents, however, also gain an heir.
Emotionally, these changes and nuances can be a lot for a child and for the entire family.
Our adoption attorney, Meghan Burns, was adopted herself as a young child and is equipped to share advice on how to handle this emotional time.
Adoption with ONDA on Your Side
Call today to schedule a consultation with the experienced legal team at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson. We have decades of experience handling all categories of adoption cases, and we will be there to support you and your family in court. To reach our Dallas office, call (214) 273-2400. Contact our Frisco law office at (972) 963-5459. If you’re in South Texas, contact our law firm’s San Antonio office at (210) 225-5567.